Looy, Jac. van

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Looy, Jac. van Gender: M
Jacobus van Looy
born on 13 September 1855 at 01:00 (= 01:00 AM )
Place Haarlem, Netherlands, 52n23, 4e38
Timezone LMT m4e38 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 19°39' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 06°56 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 01°57'

Jac. van Looy (selfportrait, 1911)


Dutch writer, poet, painter and Hamlet translator.

Jac. van Looy was the youngest child of the carpenter Johannes Jacobus van Looij (c. 1811, Haarlem - 27 Nov 1860, Haarlem) and Cornelia van der Vegt (ca. 1815 - 12 September 1859, Haarlem). They married 3 February 1836 in Haarlem and got nine children between 1836 and 1855. When he was young, his father lost his job because of poor sight and poverty threatened the family. A day before his fourth anniversary, his mother died, and at age 5, his father died as well. He was brought to the "Gereformeerd Burgerweeshuis" (Reformed Christian orphanage) on Groot Heiligland 62, which is now the location of the Frans Hals museum and once was an Old Men's house. He stayed here till 1877.

He was trained to become a house and coach painter, but as he was very talented he was able to follow drawing classes of D.J.H.Joosten (25 Sept 1818, Haarlem - 7 June 1882, Haarlem) at the Burgeravondschool (evening school). In the second book Jaap (1923) of his autobiographical trilogy Jaapje-Jaap-Jacob, he portrayed Joosten as master Juulsen. His poetry bundle Proza (1889) was dedicated to his elderly friend and patron.

With the support of Joosten, who pleaded for him at the orphanage board, he could in 1877 study at the "Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten" in Amsterdam. He studied under August Allebé, Jan Jacob Goteling Vinnis, Dirk Jan Hendrik Joosten and Hendrik Jacobus Scholten.

In November 1880 he and Antoon Duinkerken, Maurits W. van der Valk and Willem Witsen, erected the artists society "Sint Lucas". As a member of "Flanor" (since March 1883) he met Tachtigers as Willem Kloos, Frederik van Eeden, Lodewijk van Deyssel and Albert Verwey. Painter Jan Veth stimulated him to write poetry, both as admirers of Jacques Perk. Under the pseudonym A. Brouwer others published his sonnet 'Herfst' in De Nieuwe Gids of December 1885.

In May 1884 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome. This scholarship for arts students allowed him to travel through Italy, Spain, and Morocco. He copied old masters and had to report to August Allebé (19 April 1838, A'dam - 10 Januari 1927, A'dam), who was a teacher and wise friend. Many of his letters can be found in the Royal Dutch library (Het geheugen van Nederland).

He was a member of artist society "Arti et Amicitiae" and gave painting lessons to Charlotte Bouten, Chris Huidekooper, Ella Pauw, Johan Vlaanderen and Jan Vogelaar.

In 1892 he married the recitress Titia van Gelder and moved from Amsterdam to Soest. In 1913 he came back to Haarlem, and bought a house on the corner of the Haarlemmerhout park.

As a painter Van Looy had from February to March 1901 a retrospective exhibition of his work in Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam. The critics were positive, but not really impressed. From then on, Van Looy decided to keep his paintings for himself and his inner circles.

He became member of the editorial staff of the literary monthly "De Nieuwe Gids" (The New Guide, Oct 1885) in January 1909.


On 28 Jan 1892 he married Titia van Gelder (22 February 1860, Amsterdam - 28 December 1940, Haarlem), in Amsterdam. They moved to Soest and had no children.

He died 24 February 1930 in Haarlem, at age 74.

After his death his widow published "Gedichten 1884-1925" in 1932.

Link to Wikipedia


  • associate relationship with Witsen, Willem (born 13 August 1860). Notes: Tachtigers, they corresponded a lot, see Dbnl for letters
  • other associate with Lucebert (born 15 September 1924). Notes: Double talents (Winner of the Jacobus Van Looy prize for double talents)


  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 28 November 1860 in Haarlem (Gereformeerd Burgerweeshuis)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Joined group November 1880 in Amsterdam (erected the artists society "Sint Lucas".)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Significant person 7 June 1882 in Haarlem (Dirk Jan Hendrik Joosten)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Joined group March 1883 in Amsterdam (joined "Flanor")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Schepel quotes Municipal Archive of Haarlem in Sterrentijd 35 of 1 Dec 1992: "De Dertienden dezer, des voormiddags ten een uur. " Note that most internet sources give 12 Sept 1855.

Looij, Jacobus van (1855-1930) at KNAW


  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Orphaned and instutionalised at at age 5, worked as a child and attended school in the evening)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Orphan, lost both parents at young age.)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (9th of 9)
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist (painter)
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Dbnl)
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator (Hamlet in Dutch)
  • Notable : Awards : Other Awards (Prix de Rome)